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Arizona drug-smuggling suspect deported 11 prior times, authorities say

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Daniel Jupa-Fino, 21, of Sonora, Mexico, left, was arrested late Tuesday, hours after Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura, 19, also of Mexico, was stopped for a traffic violation by a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Jupa-Fino had been deported 11 times prior to his latest arrest. (Courtesy: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

A drug smuggling suspect whose alleged accomplice was arrested in Arizona with 220 pounds of marijuana has been deported to Mexico 11 times in the past three years, authorities said Wednesday.

Daniel Jupa-Fino, 21, of Sonora, Mexico, was arrested late Tuesday hours after Felipe Gonzalez-Tempura, 19, also of Mexico, was stopped for a traffic violation by a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

“We must enforce the law and secure the border prior to any discussion of immigration reform.”

- Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu

Both men fled on foot into a nearby trailer park following the initial stop, authorities said. Gonzalez-Tempura, who was injured while trying to climb over barbwire fencing, was taken into custody a short time later, but Jupa-Fino eluded responding authorities.

Hours later, a resident reported a suspicious person at a nearby truck stop and workers there said the individual had told them deputies were looking for him because he had recently fled a traffic stop.

Jupa-Fino was immediately recognized as the driver of the vehicle, which was packed with roughly 220 pounds of marijuana with a street value of more than $165,000, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Jupa-Fino was later taken to a United States Border Patrol Office, where he was identified as having been deported 11 prior times during the last three years for illegal entry into the United States.

“Meanwhile, the Obama administration and Gang of 8 is making plans for green cards and a path to citizenship for 11-20 million illegals,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement. “We must enforce the law and secure the border prior to any discussion of immigration reform.”

Both men were charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

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